DETROIT -- The second-generation Chevrolet Volt will go about 50 miles on an electric charge, up from 38 on today's model, as General Motors looks to broaden the plug-in hybrid's appeal beyond environmentalists and tech geeks.
The 2016 Volt, unveiled today at the auto show here, is a clean-sheet redesign of the ground-breaking first iteration that went on sale in late 2010. GM says the car -- which sports more sedan-like styling and a more sinister face -- will be quicker off the line and quieter inside when it hits showrooms in the second half of this year.
And in a sign that GM intends to assert itself as a leader in mass-market cars that plug in, the company revealed the Chevy Bolt, a concept battery-electric vehicle that it says will get around 200 miles of range from a single charge.
GM intends to get the Bolt into production sometime in 2017, according to a person with knowledge of the company's plans. It will be priced somewhere in the low-to-mid $30,000s, or under $30,000 after a federal tax credit for EV purchases.
The vehicle would compete squarely against Tesla Motors' planned Model 3. That entry also is slated for a 2017 launch and is expected to carry a similar price tag and deliver at least 200 miles on a charge.
The heavy lifting that went into the Volt's redesign reflects a commitment to the car that some pundits figured GM wouldn't have the stomach for after sales of the first one fell short of expectations. Given that the current car is widely believed to lose money on a per-unit basis, GM might have been tempted to keep a lid on costs by reusing major components.
Not a single part was carried over from the first generation's drive unit, and the battery pack -- the most costly component -- is almost entirely re-engineered and redesigned, too.